Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sam Update

We have been so fortunate to have Sam get to stay with us the past two weekends!!!!!

Things have changed, but when Sam is with us it feels just like old times. The adjustment for Sam hasn’t been an easy one. He has struggled to maintain a positive attitude in the midst of everything, and I can’t say that I would have a great reaction either if I was his age. But the good thing for Sam and I is that Jake’s expectations do not give into this sort of ‘poor me’ mindset. One thing that Jake always preaches to the kids in his program is being able to handle adversity. How will you react when you are faced with hard things? Things you did not expect or foresee to happen? What will you do when life doesn’t go your way? Even if your circumstances were not your choice, your reaction and attitude are. For these reasons Jake is constantly riding Sam’s case now, but in a good way. Sam has been giving a little extra attitude back to Jake lately….I think because he knows we aren’t ‘in charge’ anymore. But even so, I still see that Jake’s advice to Sam is taken to heart because I’ll see Sam react to things differently after Jake has talked with him. It’s funny how much I learn from listening to Jake ‘reason’ with Sam or any of the other kids in his program for that matter. He always knows what the heart issue is and how to address it. I love that!

A big change for Sam has also been in the area of school. We had some kids over at our house this last weekend along with Sam. At dinner they started talking about this one kid who has been suspended from Jake’s program because he had a 1.8 GPA last semester. Some of the other guys started making fun of this kid and Sam stopped them and said, “Hey, that used to be how I did in school. Before I went to Ballard my school was so easy. I didn’t have to do anything and nobody cared. Then when I came to Ballard everything was really hard and I had homework all the time. I was still trying to put in the same amount of work as before, but at Ballard it didn’t work. And I got bad grades at first. But one thing I learned about living with the Sullivan’s is that you don’t mess around in school!” I had to laugh at that comment as I thought back to how many times I would get so frustrated with Sam and his poor work ethic in school! :) Guess all that frustration paid off now! Sam also mentioned a funny story about how he was the one who broke up a fist fight in the lunch line at his new school the other day. He was pretty proud that he was the one who stepped in and saved the day. Way to go!!!!

I am so thankful to still get to see Sam a lot. At first I wasn’t sure how this was all going to work out, but it has been really good. I also get to see him two nights during the week as he has practice at Jake’s gym. And hopefully he will get to keep spending lots of weekends with us as it works out. Sam is such a special kid, and Jake and I have said it many times that he is the only 11 year old we know who could handle all this change. He really could be put into any situation and figure out how to adjust and make his way. The process is just hard sometimes. But if anyone can do it, I know he can! I saw it with my own eyes all of last year!!!!!

We love you Sam ! :)


Lori said...

A ship in the harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for :). I love what God is doing in Sam's life.

Jen said...

I have been meaning to ask you how Sam is doing. I loved hearing the update about him. Thanks for sharing!